WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 11, 2005 — National Tree Trust (NTT) announced today that its support for urban and community forestry organizations will remain strong through a $5 million grant to The National Arbor Day Foundation. This will enable NTT to continue its legacy of promoting healthy communities by providing resources that educate and empower people to grow and care for the urban and community forests where we live, work and play.
"This grant is about best supporting enhanced volunteer tree planting and urban and community forestry on a sustainable basis," said Dan Patterson, NTT Board Chairman. "The Arbor Day Foundation has a long history of high-impact, self-sustaining urban and community forestry programs and this grant offers a fabulous opportunity to further develop the synergies between grassroots organizations, municipalities, utilities, and citizens on behalf of America's vital urban forests."
Through this grant, the Arbor Day Foundation's Board of Trustees is committed to maintaining and expanding relationships with volunteer tree-planting and urban and community forestry (U&CF) organizations nationwide. Programs that support U&CF groups will continue, including efforts like NTT's Seeds Program leadership training, as well as existing Foundation programs like Tree City USA, Trees For America and Tree Line USA. The grant will ensure the America the Beautiful Act's legacy and continue to support U&CF programs that are in line with the original legislation on which NTT was founded.
In 2005, the National Tree Trust name will continue to be used. At the end of 2005, NTT will dissolve as an organization, and NTT programs will be integrated into the Arbor Day Foundation in 2006. Throughout this year, NTT program staff will continue to implement the programs and the relationships that have been stewarded by NTT. Urban and community forestry organizations can maintain contact with NTT program staff through 2005.
"We are grateful NTT approached us with this opportunity to tap into the wonderful synergy between the historic constituencies of these two organizations," said Dick Beahrs, Chair, Arbor Day Foundation Board of Trustees.
The backbone of NTT's success over the past 15 years has been programs like Seeds, Roots and Branches that have strengthened and supported U&CF organizations nationwide. These capacity-building programs have enabled these organizations and their volunteers to support their urban forests and plant untold millions of trees known only to the caring residents of their cities and towns. Since its inception in 1990, NTT has worked with its network of hundreds of U&CF partners and countless volunteers to plant more than 11 million trees in all 50 states.
"To continue being successful, we need to be strategic about our investments and commitments," Patterson added. "The ultimate purpose of the grant is to continue NTT's mission of supporting tree planting and urban and community forestry throughout the country. The Foundation is well-positioned to have a lasting impact on this important work."
As part of the grant, the Foundation will support training for the leadership of the many urban and community forestry and volunteer tree-planting organizations nationwide. "Local leaders are supporting the important work of tens of thousands of volunteers nationwide," added Beahrs. "We're excited to have the opportunity to carry on NTT's leadership and capacity building training that these non-profit professionals want and deserve."
As 2005 progresses, NTT leadership and staff will work closely with their grantees and funding partners to facilitate necessary transitions and continue supporting the development of strong and sustainable U&CF non-profits. All 2005 NTT training and grant programs and commitments, including the Regional Grow Out Stations (RGOS), will be honored.
"The National Tree Trust can count many successes over its 15-year history," said Patterson. "As we enter this time of transition, we can look back proudly at what has been accomplished, but also look ahead with anticipation at what is yet to come."
For more information, visit NTT on the Web at www.nationaltreetrust.org
and the Arbor Day Foundation at www.arborday.org.